Olle i Skratthult was the stage name of Hjalmar Peterson, a Swedish-American vaudeville artist who achieved great popularity during the 1910s and 1920s.
Gunnar Bohman, Gustav Fonandern, Lydia Hedberg and Bert Leman were Swedish performers, who toured the United States in the 1920s. During the same period Arvid Franzen and Calle Sjöquist were popular Swedish-American entertainers on the East Coast. Bohman, Franzen and Sjöquist appeared as guest artists with the Hjalmar Peterson Company.
PERFORMERS TOURING SWEDISH AMERICA
1921 - 1926 Gustav Fonandern
1921 - 1925 Lydia Hedberg
1923 - 1925 Gunnar Bohman
1927 - 1928 Bert and Anna Leman
1929 - 1929 Arvid Franzen
1929 - 1929 Calle Sjöquist
Tracks 01-36: various artists
Tracks 01-08: Gunnar Bohman
Tracks 09-13: Gustav Fonandern
Tracks 14-17: Arvid Franzen
Tracks 18-22: Lydia Hedberg
Tracks 23-28: Bert Leman
Tracks 29-34: Calle Sjöquist
Tracks 35-35: Lyrics by Calle Sjöquist
Tracks 36-36: Tribute to Evert Taube
There are 30 recordings by Bohman, Fonandern, Franzen, Hedberg, Leman and Sjöquist and 4 cover versions of Leman songs. The final 2 numbers are bonus tracks.
The Swedish-American singer Olga Lindgren, who was Hjalmar Peterson's first wife, gave credit to Fonandern, Hedberg and other visitors from Sweden for providing immigrant performers such as herself with much of their new material.
In 1914 Charles G. Widdén recorded “Våran Bal” (Our Ball), an adaptation of Irving Berlin’s “Everybody’s Doin’ It Now” with Swedish lyrics by Calle Sjöquist. "Ack Giv Ett Tecken Julianna" was recorded by Gustav Fonandern in Sweden and by Calle Sjöquist in America. "Hal I Och Drag" had lyrics by Gunnar Bohman and was set to a traditional sailor tune.
One of Sweden’s greatest singer-songwriters, Evert Taube has remained largely unknown in Swedish America. In the 1920s Gustaf Fonandern recorded "Karl-Alfred Och Eleonor" and two other Taube songs for American labels. Hjalmar Peterson’s repertoire included sailor songs much like those written by Evert Taube but none by the man himself. His songbooks did, however, have “Sista Man På Skansen” (The Last Man At Skansen), which referenced places and characters from Taube songs. An instrumental version of the song was recorded by Peterson's Hobo Orchestra in 1928.
— Svenska Folkets Tidning 08-28-12 —
Olle Skratthult, the popular storyteller and ballad singer, performs for the first time this season at Dania Hall, 5th Street and Cedar Avenue, Minneapols (Sunday September 1) and at Vasa Hall, St. Paul. (Sunday September 8). Olle i Skratthult assisted by some of the top talent in town. Among those taking part are the violinist Mr. Jacobson, the Norwegian violinist Mr. “Foss” Slua Liljequist and — visiting the Twin Cities from New York City — the baritone Gunnar Ericson. Don’t fail to be at Dania Hall next Sunday! The doors open at 7:30 pm. Admission only 35 cents.
The Olle i Skratthult Company c. 1925
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